What To Do When You Are Involved in a Road Traffic Accident*
Road traffic accidents are among the most common reasons for claims to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board. If you have been involved in such an accident, you may be entitled to claim for personal injuries and/or expenses. In this section, we take you through the different kinds of road traffic accidents and how to make a claim if you have been injured in one.
However, after any kind of road traffic accident, these are the steps you should always take:
- Get medical attention
- Collect as much relevant information as possible, including contact details for participants, witnesses, and emergency staff; photographs and dashcam footage of the scene; and receipts for repairs.
- Notify the Gardaí.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Contact a solicitor with expertise in road traffic accidents.
Car Accident Claims
If you have suffered an injury whilst driving a car, or as a passenger in a car, you may be liable to make a claim against the person responsible for your injury. On this page, you will find information about the different types of car accident claims and advice on how to instigate a car accident claim.
Taxi Accident Claims
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident involving a taxi, you may be able to claim, if it was not your fault. Accidents involving taxis are extremely common, ranging from head-on collisions and side-impact collisions to collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists.
Steps to take if you are involved in a taxi accident:
- Get medical attention for your injuries.
- Make sure you get all the relevant information from the scene of the accident, including the other party’s contact and insurance details, photographs of the scene, and details of witnesses.
- Inform the Gardaí about the accident.
- Speak to your insurance company.
- Contact an experienced solicitor.
Bus Accident Claims
Given the size of the vehicle and the number of potential people involved, accidents involving buses can be extremely serious. If you have been involved in a bus accident, you may be entitled to claim.
Bus accident claims by passengers
Passengers rarely bear any responsibility for accidents involving buses. If you are making a claim for injuries as a passenger on a bus that was involved in an accident, you will usually claim against the bus company (if the driver was at fault) or the negligent driver of another vehicle in the collision.
Bus accident claims by drivers
Car drivers should approach a claim for injuries suffered in a bus accident in the same way as they would for any other traffic accident. One extra step after exchanging contact and insurance details with the other parties to the accident is to record the date and time of the accident, along with the name of the bus company, the route number, and the vehicle registration.
Bicycle Accident Claims
Cyclists are very vulnerable in road traffic accidents. The main cause of bicycle accident claims is drivers of cars and other vehicles. Other causes include falling off, hitting a pothole or loose stones, or swerving to avoid an obstacle.
Whatever caused your bicycle accident, call your solicitor as soon as possible to determine whether you are entitled to make a claim.
Avoiding bicycle accidents
Cyclists can suffer serious injury or death in a road traffic accident, so always follow this safety advice.
- Wear a helmet.
- Be visible. Wear reflective clothes and fit reflectors and lights on your bike, even during daytime use.
- Follow the rules of the road, especially in relation to traffic lights and rights of way.
- Keep your bike in good working order.
- Be extra careful in wet, windy, and icy weather.
Pedestrian Accident Claims
Being involved in a road traffic accident as a pedestrian can be extremely serious and distressing. Compensation for such an accident in which the pedestrian was not at fault may cover both physical and psychological injuries.
Causes of pedestrian accidents
Pedestrian accidents can happen on roads in both rural and urban settings. The most usual cause is a vehicle striking the pedestrian and causing injury.
What do to do if you are in a pedestrian accident:
- Get medical attention.
- Gather evidence for lodging a claim with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
- Contact a solicitor to help you with your claim.
Avoiding pedestrian accidents:
- Wear high visibility clothing (not wearing high visibility protection may lower the compensation due to you).
- Walk on the right-hand side of the road.
- Do not cross the road without due care and attention.
- Keep as far away from the road as possible
- Try to avoid walking on narrow, twisting roads with high volumes of traffic.
Motorcycle Accident Claims
Motorcycle accidents can be exceptionally serious because of the vulnerability of the motorcyclist. Without the protection of a vehicle around them, motorcyclists can suffer severe injuries from even a seemingly minor collision. It is important for you to explore the options available for making a motorcycle accident claim if you are involved in an accident that was not your fault.
The Incidence of Motorcycle Accidents in Ireland
According to the Road Safety Authority, motorcycles represent less than 2% of licensed vehicles in Ireland, but 10% of road deaths involve motorcyclists. OECD figures highlight the fact that a motorcyclist is up to three times more likely to be killed in Ireland than in any other European country.
The absence of a protective shell and the speed at which motorbikes travel mean that they will always be more dangerous modes of transport than other vehicles. That said, motorcyclists can reduce their risk of an accident by:
- Maintaining their vehicle properly by checking for damage and monitoring electrics, tyres, petrol, oil, and water.
- Checking mirrors and remaining vigilant on the road
- Keeping a safe distance from other vehicles
- Being visible, with dipped headlights and high visibility clothing
- Not making sudden maneuvers
- Anticipating other road users’ behaviour
- Observing weather, road, and traffic conditions
- Keeping to a safe speed
- Never driving after drinking or taking drugs
- Getting training via the RSA’s Approved Driver Instructor programme.
Public Transport Accident Claims
Ireland’s public transport network has become more extensive in recent years, and so has the range and number of accidents related to it.
Here are just some of the kinds of accidents on public transport that you may be able to make a claim for:
- Tripping or falling while on a train or a bus
- Injuries caused by the bus or train driver’s poor driving or negligence
- Injury due to a collision with another vehicle
- Being involved in a collision with a train or a bus
- Having an accident while alighting due to the driver’ positioning
If you are involved in a public transport accident:
- Get medical attention.
- Collect as much evidence as possible, such as witness contact details and photographs, if relevant.
- Keep any receipts for medical treatment and any other expenses incurred because of the accident.
- Record details of any loss of earnings caused by the accident.
- Contact an expert solicitor, who will help you to prepare a case for lodging with the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.
Luas Accident Claims
You may submit a claim for compensation for falling on the Dublin Luas system, if you can prove that the accident was caused by the driver’s negligence. The following criteria must be met:
- The driver’s negligence must have caused the accident.
- Failure to observe a duty of care must have been a factor in your injury.
- The accident must have been preventable.
- You must have looked for medical treatment
The fact that the Luas tram network is covered extensively by CCTV cameras means it may be possible to obtain footage to support your case. The recordings may not prove driver negligence, but they could prove that you suffered your injury on a Dublin tram.
You are legally entitled to get a copy of any CCTV data involving you. Your solicitor can do this on your behalf. Other important supporting information for your claim can be sought from eye-witnesses to the accident, if you requested contact information.
You will need medical evidence to support a claim for injury compensation for an accident on the Luas. Your solicitor will ensure that all aspects of your injury are detailed on your medical assessment form. These will influence the scale of your compensation award if your claim for a fall on a Luas tram is approved by the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.